Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

G7 Willing to Cooperate with Russia on Regional Crises | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55375162

Front row, L-R: Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, U.S. President Donald Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi pose for a family photo with other participants of the G7 summit during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stephane de Sakutin/Pool

Taormina – Group of Seven allies concluded its summit in Taormina, Italy on disagreement on global climate change accord and partial pledge to fight protectionism. The group also said on Saturday it is willing to cooperate with Russia to end regional crisis in Syria but waived the possibility of additional sanctions if Moscow doesn’t abide by Minsk agreements.

“If Russia is prepared to use its influence positively, then we are prepared to work with it in resolving the conflict in Syria, pursuing a political settlement,” said the communique signed by the leaders of seven states on Saturday.

G7 leaders said that they had failed to bridge differences over climate change, with the United States unable to join other countries in committing to the Paris Agreement.

“The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics,” the communique read.

G7 group also said that sanctions on Russia should stay in place until it left east Ukraine and that they stood “ready to take further restrictive measures” if need be.

“We recall that the duration of sanctions is clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of its commitments in the Minsk Agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty. Sanctions can be rolled back when Russia meets its commitments. However, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase costs on Russia, should its actions so require,” the communique said.

Russia’s membership has been suspended after Crimea issue in 2014. In addition, economic sanctions were imposed on Moscow for its involvement in the clashes in east Ukraine, which Russia denies.

Ethiopia, Kenya, Tunisia, Chad, Guinea, and Nigeria were all present at the G7 to discuss terrorism especially after Manchester attack executed by a British national of Libyan descent.

Libya’s neighboring countries pressured G7 to aid in putting an end to the struggle in the country. The G7 communique called for a comprehensive political dialogue in Libya and national reconciliation.

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou called on the leaders of G7 nations to take urgent measures to end the Libyan crisis and derided them for not keeping to aid promises to fight poverty in West Africa’s poorest regions.

Niger, south of Libya, is increasingly concerned about the situation in the North Africa country where rival governments oppose each other leaving a power vacuum that has enabled Islamist groups to establish a foothold in the country.

“The fight against terrorism in the Sahel countries and the Lale Chad demands that urgent measures be taken to put out the Libyan cauldron,” Issoufou said in a speech

Regarding migration and refugees, the communique stated the countries’ affirmation on the sovereign rights of states to control their own borders and set clear limits on net migration levels, as key elements of their national security and economic well-being.

It also spoke of the “need to support refugees as close to their home countries as possible”.

The G7 leaders said that internet firms must “substantially increase their efforts to address terrorist content”.

“We encourage industry to act urgently in developing and sharing new technology and tools to improve the automatic detection of content promoting incitement to violence”, they said.

Later, US President Trump tweeted about the climate change issue saying: “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!”

German chancellor Angela Merkel told press that the six other leaders had tried to persuade him to stay on board in what she called “very intense” talks. She told reporters that the entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying.

“There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not,” she said according to Reuters.

Whereas French President Emmanuel Macron said that he made progress during his discussions with Trump.

“I met a leader who has strong convictions on a number of subjects, some of which I share, such as terrorism or upholding our rank in the league of nations,” Macron told reporters.

“It was a first experience for both of us and he saw the interest of a multilateral discussion. The realism and pro-activeness that he showed during his campaign hasn’t been lost, but now he can take into account the interests of his friends and partners,” he added.

Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn said on Friday that the president came here to learn.

“He came here to get smart. His views are evolving which exactly as they should be,” he added.

Yet, Greenpeace said that the G7 summit outcome showed how isolated Trump is on climate change where all members except the US reaffirmed their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Europe, Canada and Japan made a stand today, revealing again how far Trump is out of step with the rest of the world on climate change. The G7 outcome reconfirms that the clean energy transformation is unstoppable and supported by not only governments, but by society more broadly,” added the organization.